Willey: Central contract snub made retirement decision 'a lot easier'

Willey: Central contract snub made retirement decision 'a lot easier'

Article Posted on 8 November, 2023

Bowling all-rounder David Willey said he was left "upset, angry, disappointed" after not being given a central contract with England, making his decision to retire from international cricket much easier.

Willey, 33, announced on Wednesday that he will hang up his international boots at the end of the ongoing One-Day International World Cup in India.

The left-arm fast-medium bowler was not offered any deal when the England and Wales Cricket Board announced new central contracts last month, and he will now be free to play in various franchise-based leagues across the globe.

"Upset, angry, disappointed. I think that, for me, made my decision a lot easier," Willey told Sky Sports on Friday about being overlooked. "These conversations around contracts all happened before we came out (to the World Cup). I knew I was the only one that didn't have one.

"It was difficult. I felt with two World Cups in 12 months, and knowing my position in the squad should there be injuries or whatever, I'd have a chance."

Willey has played 70 one-dayers, including three matches in the ongoing World Cup with the last being against India at Lucknow, and 43 Twenty20 Internationals since his England debut in 2015.

When asked why the time is right to retire now, Willey said: "Towards the back end of the summer, I knew it was coming. And I just feel that there's not very many opportunities in cricket to walk away when the time is right for you.

"That game against India, in front of a full crowd, in a World Cup: I walked out to bat, there was a strobe light show going on and, as I walked down the steps, I thought 'I'm done'."

England's title defence is in tatters, with Jos Buttler's men languishing at the bottom of the points table after five defeats in six matches. They face rivals Australia, placed third, in Ahmedabad later on Saturday.


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